Simon Willison’s Weblog


Sergey Brin interviewed

29th March 2003

Jeremy Allaire has posted notes on an interview with Sergey Brin of Google, conducted at the PC Forum conference. Some highlights:

When or will you go IPO?

I was really impressed with his answer on this. He understands the incredible distraction that an IPO can be both for the management team and employees. He says it comes down to the fact that he’s just too lazy (which is clearly not the case!). The essence is a moral response --- public markets are too short-term focused and he wants his team focused on the long-run. Whatever the case, he admits that ultimately their employees and investors want liquidity and that will have to happen through an IPO or acquisition of Google.

A person in the audience asked a very interesting question -- idea -- about Google playing a leading role in enabling the semantic web. The basic idea was that Google should process pages and classify them into ontologies, and that they can derive lots of linked ontologies from all the content they already index.

He basically said he doesn’t believe in the semantic web as a set of linked RDF data-structures. His basic argument is that the structure of natural language and what it presents is much much richer than meta-data tagging schemes. Clearly, Google’s understanding of natural language is unique, but there still is a need for machine readable APIs for data on the Internet.

This is Sergey Brin interviewed by Simon Willison, posted on 29th March 2003.

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